Watership Down

James McAvoy and Olivia Coleman To Star In Watership Down Remake

The new four-part series by the BBC and Netflix boasts a stellar cast

By Shannon Wilson, 04 May 2016
James McAvoy and Olivia Coleman To Star In Watership Down Remake

Tissues at the ready – there's a Watership Down remake in the works. The new series will be co-produced by the BBC and Netflix and will consist of four one-hour long episodes. Promising to be vastly different from the harrowing 1978 movie of the same name, the show’s executive producer Rory Aitken told the Telegraph that the new version will have more opportunity to showcase the book's original story, while featuring less violence and more action for the female rabbits.

Watership Down is an epic adventure story

An A-list filled cast has just been announced, featuring James McAvoy (X-Men and The Last King of Scotland) and Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy) who will play the lead roles of Hazel and Fiver, brothers who foresee the destruction of their warren and lead the band of rabbits to safety. Star Wars star John Boyega, Gemma Arterton (St Trinian's and Quantum of Solace) and Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Broadchurch and The Night Manager) will be voicing rabbits Bigwig, Clover and Strawberry respectively. Last but not least and taking on the role of infamous villain General Woundwort is veteran actor Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler's List and Sexy Beast). 

The new series is reportedly costing a whopping £20 million to make, so we can expect top-notch animation to match the starry cast. But what about the actual story? 

“The thing about Watership Down is that it’s an epic adventure story,” said Aitken.  “The idea is to bring it to a wider family audience. While Watership Down is never going to be for young children, it will be for the whole family to watch together... It’s a great opportunity, and the generation who grew up with Watership Down are now able to bring it to the younger generation.”

While an exact premiere date has not been announced, Watership Down is due to air sometime at the end of 2017. We just can’t wait – hop to it BBC!

Meanwhile, check out the shows you should be binging on next Bank Holiday weekend!